Guyana Table of Contents
The country's underdeveloped and decaying infrastructure seriously handicapped Guyana's economy. Many of the basic facilities and services that were taken for granted even in other developing countries were either never present in Guyana or had deteriorated by the late 1980s. This absence of basic infrastructure meant that the country's economic recovery would have to begin at the most fundamental levels. No reform of Guyana's productive sectors was possible without a significant level of investment in electricity, transportation, communications, the water system, and seawalls.
The unreliable supply of electricity in Georgetown and throughout Guyana was "the single most debilitating infrastructural inadequacy," according to Minister of Finance Carl Greenidge. The United States Embassy reported that the lack of electricity in the Georgetown area was a leading factor in emigration from Guyana. Blackouts of sixteen hours per day were common in 1989-90. Improving the electrical system was a government priority (see Energy Supply , this ch.). Other infrastructural problems also blocked economic development. The poor road system, for example, made it difficult to transport bauxite and blocked efforts to harvest timber (see Transportation , this ch.).
Data as of January 1992